Day 14 – Walking the Via Francigena- From Saint-Quentin to Crécy-sur-Serre, France – A Long Day Of Walking, and Reflections on My Stolen Bag
This morning in our bed and breakfast, we ate an early breakfast, sitting next to another guest, from Barcelona, Spain.
He asked us what we were doing here, and we told him that we are walking on a long pilgrimage.
He told us that he was a walker, too.
We were delighted to hear this, as he was the first pilgrim we had found or seen along the way.
We have seen NOBODY else walking the Via Francigena.
Then he corrected himself and explained that he was on a business trip in Saint Quentin, but that he too, loves to hike and walk.
Like everyone else, he had never heard of the Via Francigena, but said he loves to go into the Pyrenees in Spain and hike all day.
He said that he usually takes with him, only a small bottle of water, no food and no backpack, just him and the majestic mountains.
He had really sweet energies.
Today was a very long day of walking.
The first part of the walk was through the outskirts of Saint Quentin, and then along a narrow country road that was surprisingly busy with many speeding cars.
Then we turned onto a farm road and walked the whole day between the fields, on gravel roads that were only used by tractors.
It was hard to walk at times on the sharp stones, especially since we were not wearing hiking shoes with thick, stiff soles. We brought to this pilgrimage only light track shoes, which are breathable and more versatile, except when you have to walk on sharp, uneven stones.
We did not pass by any place to eat or drink, but by now we have gotten used to it and were not expecting to find anything.
There were no benches or places to rest, so we walked the whole day without rest.
We ate the croissants that the owner of our bed and breakfast kindly packed for us, and also some clementines.
We drank only one small bottle of water between us, and we also ate a few chocolates.
I was sad for most of the day, about my stolen bag.
I was asking my spiritual guides for guidance, and to help me see things differently.
I didn’t want to draw the usual conclusions, that the world is a dangerous place and that there are many thieves who can harm you.
This way of thinking can only lead to my traveling less, being afraid of others and eventually becoming a suspicious old lady, looking at anyone as if he can be a potential vulture who wants to attack her.
As I walked in the fields, I listened to a reading of the Course in Miracles, partly to elevate my spirits, and partly to make the hard walk without rest a little easier.
On occasions, I still felt like crying, although now I am feeling a little bit better.
I reflected on many ideas, and searched for a meaningful explanation about what happens and why.
I had to admit to myself my attachments and my need for security, but it is still a bit premature to write about that here.
The weather kept on changing from sunny to cold and misty, and we took off our coats and put them back on again, and even wore our gloves.
Finally, when we reached the small town of Crécy-sur-Serre, it started raining.
We felt grateful that the dry weather had held for the whole day.
It was nearly dark when we arrived in the village.
One shop was still open.
It was owned by a charming old lady, who had everything ever made for sale.
She had kids’ toys, stationery, hardware store items, kitchen wares and small appliances, plates and glasses, garden supplies, canned goods, clothings, and sporting goods, all crammed in together in an overly busy, bordering on hoarding kind of shelving.
I went in to look for earphones.
My good set of earphones were in my stolen bag.
The lady got out a big set of keys, like the ones that were used to open a castle’s dungeon in medieval times.
She slowly made her way to a glass cabinet that like everything else in the store, was covered in years of dust.
She motioned for me to come over and she showed me two sets of ancient earphones.
One looked like they were from the year 1965 and the other, from 1966 at the latest.
Both were so covered in dust that I could hardly read the labels.
I chose one set because I saw the words “digital” on it.
I paid 8 Euros for it.
The earphones covering foam broke into dust the first time I tried to put them into my ears, but the sound was fine and it will do until we get to Paris, where I can replace them with another set I have left in my suitcase.
I was happy to help the old lady make a sale.
It looked like she hasn’t sold much merchandise in decades.
Our small rural hotel is run by a husband and wife.
The room we got, although modest, was very clean and spacious.
They also have a small restaurant downstairs.
They made us a warm veg salad and a very good veg pizza.
There were a few options to walk the Via Francigena between Saint Quentin to Laon.
There was the direct, straight south route, which has just one nice hotel in the middle, but it was fully booked.
Most people go south west but I did not like the hotels along the way.
We chose to walk southeast, and stay in this charming old town in the fields.
Tomorrow we will have a short day of walking to Laon.
My feet and legs are throbbing tonight.
We saw online, two unauthorized charges in our accounts, made by the thief who stole our passports, money and all my credit cards.
We made more phone calls to the USA and took care of that.
I hope tomorrow will bring more light into my heart….
Tali, the still shaken pilgrim…
9 hours of walking
Active walking time – 8.5 hours
Daily Steps – 51,597
Daily Kilometers – 37.5
Total Kilometers walked from Canterbury – 304.5
Maximum Altitude today: 123 meters
Total Elevation climbed today: 1751 meters
Total Descent today: 1768 meters
From Saint-Quentin to Crécy-sur-Serre, France
La Tour de Crecy, Crécy-sur-Serre, France
Comfortable rural hotel run by a kind couple.
They serve dinner and breakfast.
The village also has a couple of other restaurants.